I’ve decided to a weekly, or at least bi-weekly round up of great articles from the blogosphere!
Here is what I’ve got fot this week:
And this week’s positive affirmation – gratitude. Always be grateful. There is always something to be thankful for. Be thankful for your health. Be thankful you are loved. Be thankful to be alive!
- There is no such thing as spot reduction.
Your body gains and loses fat in a predetermined genetic pattern. What this means is that if the first place you gain is your tummy, that’s usually the last place you’ll lose fat. So you can’t do 100 crunches a day in order to flatten your belly. This principle applies to any other body part where there is too much “jiggle” – sometimes doing targeted exercises CAN help because the exercise helps develop the muscle underneath, helping improve the areas appearance a little bit. But if the problem is simply excess fat in a particular area, you just have to work it off all over, and eventually it will come off your trouble spots. Consistent diet and training to reduce overall body fat is the key.
- The word “toning” as most people use it, is a myth.
Continuing on from the above, there really isn’t such a thing as “toning” a muscle. Muscle can’t be “toned”. Muscle is just muscle, it can get bigger or smaller and the fat mass covering it can be either less or more. Fat cannot and does not turn into muscle and the reverse isn’t true either. So you can either develop a part of your body that you’d like to improve, meaning increasing the size of the muscle there, which can dramatically improve it’s appearance OR you can lose fat all over your body, which as discussed above, will happen in a genetically predetermined pattern.When you’re very new to exercise or coming from a long lay off, you can pull off doing a bit of both – building and losing fat. But eventually you will have to pick one goal to focus on in the immediate few months, so that is either losing fat or gaining muscle. All muscle gain comes with a least a little bit of fat and all fat loss goes hand in hand with a little muscle loss. The best results either way come from being consistent and moderate over a long period time. Don’t try to lose too much fat/weight too quickly, because a lot of what you lose will be your hard earned muscle, and conversely, you can’t just eat everything in sight and lift without also gaining too much body fat in the process. Moderation, kids! Moderation and consistency.
- You cannot change your basic structure.
By “structure” what I am referring to mostly is your bone structure. However, “structure” also refers to the shape of your muscles and the origin and insertion points of said muscles (i.e: where your muscles attach to the bones). Thiese are the elements that determine the shape of our legs and calves, our hips, the shape of our biceps and shoulders, etc. Everything. It’s your individual arthropometry. What do I mean by this? Well, our bones determine the length of our limbs, and the width of our hips, ribcage and to a lesser extent, the width of our shoulders. There isn’t a diet or training program that can change these fundamental structural elements of our bodies. We have to work with what we’ve been given.
The good news is that i don’t know of a single person that doesn’t look absolutely amazing when they’re in their best possible physical shape!
Long legs, short legs, wide or narrow hips, long or short torso, the human body is a glorious thing to behold when it’s been trained and sculpted to its aesthetic and athletic peak.
So, far from trying to rain on your parade, I want to empower you with information. My goal is to have you take a long term, pragmatic view to your health and fitness goals, for you to love and accept yourself completely, and work on change and improvement, inside and out. You can do a lot within the parameters outlined above! But it helps to know what is and isn’t possible and how the human body works to create a successful game plan, instead of just spinning your wheels because of certain misconceptions you may have about the way things will occur.
In my case, I got into heavy weightlifting because i always hated the way my legs looked and I was told that the only way to change their appearance was through squatting. Heavy. So that’s what I learned to do. I don’t have thin legs today, because adhering to the principles above, that is just not possible for someone with my structure, and that’s OK. I like the way I look in shorts and skirts these days, and I can honestly say I like my legs now. That’s so huge for me! They were the bane of my existence in high school! I still always admire women with long, slender legs, but I have muscular, powerful ones. My legs are awesome and healthy and strong. They also look great in a pair of heels and I’m thankful for all of that!
How successful have you been in transforming your body and what methods have you tried? Let me know in the comments!